Recent developments in the field of pulmonology have facilitated the growth of respiratory system research, pushing its expansion. Still, the prevalence of respiratory diseases is one of the highest in the world. Only nine major respiratory drugs have been created over the last 40 years, making the need for clinical trials in pulmonology even more relevant.
Over 235 million people are affected by asthma, a chronic condition that causes narrowing of the airways, coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and breathing difficulty. Asthma control includes visiting physician, avoiding triggers, checking peak flow, taking medications and inhalers. Though, up-to-date asthma clinical trials show that there is a way to help patients with severe asthma, which is identified as challenging to treat. This treatment idea is based on a combination of three drugs in one inhaler. Another novel treatment option is monoclonal antibody mepolizumab specialized to cure a severe eosinophilic asthma. Research innovations like these will result in changes of international asthma treatment guidelines by Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA).
There are plenty of people trying to quit smoking, which is the main cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is widely known that increasing breathlessness of COPD is treated with smoking cessation and combination of oxygen therapy along with the drugs (bronchodilators, inhaled or oral steroids, phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors, theophylline), which open the airways. Latest COPD clinical trials came up with a novel medication – roflumilast, which is a phosphodiesteratse type 4 inhibitor targeting the inflammatory processes. The increased intensity of research and development suggests that a breakthrough in the treatment of COPD can be expected in the coming years.
The rise of electronic nicotine delivery systems have gained worldwide popularity over the past few years. Although the information about their potential health effects remains scarce, the call for concern is at its high. With clinical research lagging behind current trends, unknown side effects are putting millions of people at risk, resulting in the demand for clinical safety.